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01225 386785

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Tom Saunders from BRE presents the award to Karen Harbinson, University Project Manager

Press Release - 06 December 2007

New student accommodation is environmentally ‘excellent’

New student residences at the University of Bath’s Claverton campus have received an award for ‘excellent’ environmental design, marking the project out as one of only three in the country to achieve the status.

The award is made by the Building Research Establishment’s BREEAM Environmental Award Scheme (under its BRE Global BREEAM Multi-Residential 2005 Scheme), which rewards designs that take positive steps to minimise environmental impact.

The project received full marks in assessment of its management, including responsible commissioning practices and measures to minimise environmental site impacts, and scored highly for steps to counter pollution, promote health and well-being, and initiatives concerning energy and transport.

The building is designed to consume less energy through the use of energy efficient heating systems, including solar panels, low energy lighting, a precast concrete structure which reduces heat losses, and a natural ventilation strategy.

It is also installed with eco-friendly equipment, such as fridges and freezers, and has good links to public transport and community facilities. The project uses sustainable building products and materials, and employs sustainable drainage techniques. The design also includes measures to improve the ecology of the site and reduce external lighting spillage.

"The University is delighted to receive this award in recognition of our commitment towards sustainable development,” said Karen Harbinson, the University’s Project Manager. “It proves that we are at the forefront of the higher education residential sector in environmental design.

“The comprehensive nature of the BREEAM assessment also demonstrates that we are minimising the environmental impact of this building through a whole range of areas and initiatives.

“We will be working closely with BRE Global, the award scheme’s independent approvals body, as they continue to develop the scheme."

The new residences, to be called Woodland Court, are situated at the east of the campus and will house 355 students. The three-sided courtyard design provides student bedrooms arranged in groups to form self-catering flats, a dedicated post graduate block and flats for resident tutors. The accommodation will be ready for the start of the 2008 academic year.

To achieve the award the University has worked closely with the project’s main contractor, Hbg Construction Ltd, and with the team of designers including: Architect Design Partnership, Halcrow Yolles Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, Martin Stockley Associates Structural Engineers, Grant Associates Landscape Architects and Ecoxsulis as the Ecological Adviser. The external Project Managers are Northcroft, also acting as Cost Consultants.

A further assessment will be undertaken on completion of the building to confirm that the final construction also achieves the same rating. Halcrow Yolles were the independent BREEAM Assessor acting on behalf of the University.

For further information please contact Karen Harbinson, Project Manager in the University of Bath Estates Department, on 01225 386785 or email

BREEAM Multi-Residential is part of the BREEAM family of environmental assessment methods. The assessment uses a standard set of criteria applicable to multi-residential accommodation and a system of credits grouped under nine headings from management through to pollution.


BRE Global Ltd, part of the BRE Group, is an independent third party approvals body offering certification of fire, security and sustainability products and services to an international market.

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: